2018 Design Trend Predictions: Do they really matter to you?

For the past couple of months, I’ve been scouring, scraping and tracking as many details as I can get my paws on to create a reference library of 2018 interior trends, but more specifically, what is being predicted and how it affects our world in the kitchen and bath industry.

But how do predictions work? And do they really matter in our day-to-day business? (Insert my overactive imagination) In my mind, there are these nebulous “beings” out there who have this huge orb that hovers in mid-air, the room is dark, the orb is glowing in an ominous blue-white hue (from black lights of course) and these “beings” strategically touch a point on the orb and the room explodes from floor to ceiling in visual stories as to what that predictive touch will give us for the coming year. (My imagination is very colorful. Be thankful you don’t have to deal with me in the middle of the night!) Ok, now I know that’s not actually how it happens, but it’s the way I like to picture it. Let me have my moment!! (Dreamers gonna dream!)

The truth about predictions

Take a breath, (10 seconds in, 10 seconds out) and come back to reality with me now. The real predictions come from experts, professionals and otherwise self-labeled gurus in their profession. They integrate themselves into strategic workshops and network throughout all of the touchpoints that play into their respective fields. Much of what is predicted is based on a constant flow of information and events and a driving force for change. For example, what was highlighted at EuroCucina in 2016 is now part of the recipe for 2018 Kitchen and Bath Trends in the U.S. So it’s not quite as magical as my imagination; instead, the process is tedious and time-consuming. These predictive beings are the life-blood to energizing all of us with new ideas and thoughts. And with that Google thing, well it’s all at the fingertips of our clients too. This is the part where I remind you that it’s important to spend 10-15 minutes a day honing your expertise. More specifically, on TRENDS especially in January. 


Making the predictions work for you

And there are a lot of them out there, right? I’m not sure if you have trouble with the translation, but my recommendation is to take it all in at a high level, but then focus on the appetizer portion of the information. You know, like using a highlighter on a document! I look for ways to translate the trend into workable real-life subjects that tie into the products we use every day. This week I attended a webinar that discussed highlights from High Point Furniture Market and I found it surprisingly refreshing to see that even amazing interior designers are looking for simple elements, like a tabletop picture frame, to make a trend useable.

Brass accent pegs in a clear photo frame are a subtle way to work the trend of brass metal finishes into your home. Photo source: Home with Kiki

For kitchen and bath specifiers, the way to translate the trend of brass finishes would typically come into play with decorative hardware, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Determining how much is the tricky thing and while I would love to give you “the perfect formula” it is really based on balancing timeless and on-trend vs. trendy.

Trend Prediction: Brass is in!

To illustrate how this looks, I’ve assembled a Modern and Classic theme in the style story below. Because there will be modern lines in my overall design, I’m including an accent of Brava in Bronze to complement the brushed brass finishes on the lighting and hardware.

The key is to approach your design with subtle accents to support a trend theme without overwhelming by using too much of one finish.

Medallion styles shown from our Gold series: Sonoma flat panel, Mission raised panel maple, Brava in Oil Rubbed Bronze frame. For more info on the supporting elements shown, click on any of the following descriptions: Maclain pendant by Kichler, Claridges Thassos backsplash by Artistic Tile, St. Vincent hardware by Amerock, Delgatie counter by Cambria, Crystal Cave hardwood by Shaw Floors.

In the example above I’m picturing brushed stainless, or black stainless appliances and faucet finishes for their neutral and reflective appeal and to keep the focus on the brass elements.  For adding a bit more interest and translating one of the Houzz trend predictions for 2018 (we will see fewer white or stainless steel sinks) I would love to add this Elkay luxe quartz sink in Charcoal or Chestnut to contrast the light counters.

Elkay Quartz Luxe Single Bowl Sink in Charcoal.
New from Elkay’s lineup of quartz sinks is this single bowl undermount model with the amazing perfect drain!

With just a couple of examples, it’s easy to see how looking at trend predictions can open our minds to consider making suggestions that might otherwise be a bit outside of our comfort zone. Sometimes we assume that if the client doesn’t ask for it, they don’t want it. With so many topics published around what will be trending for interiors each year, I think the better assumption to make is that most clients aren’t even aware of what is possible.

I leave you with what I hope is an easy answer to this blog title question: Do design trend predictions matter to you? And the people replied emphatically: “Yes“, they do because you are a top-notch designer who wants to be in the know! To help you filter the abundance of predictions, I put together a To-Do list, but not the kind that requires cleaning or errands. I hope you’ll find this one a bit more fun and I think you’ll feel a heightened sense of knowledge for your next client meeting!

Designer To-Do’s for Translating 2018 Trend Predictions

  1. Read articles on top Trend Predictions for 2018

    Houzz –  Interior Design Trends Expected to Take Hold in 2018
    Pinterest Predicts the Top Home Trends for 2018 by Livingly Media Inc.
    The New Cabinet Stain Colour from KBIS 2018 by Maria Killam, Color Expert. Translate this trend! Reply in the comments below to tell me what stain color you think this translates to in Medallion’s finishes.
    I’ve given you my top picks, but feel free to branch out beyond this! Note: This will take more than 15 minutes, so break it up into multiple segments to keep the information “appetizer portion” size.

  2. Hone in on the predictions that you can make successful
    Narrow down the big lists, I would suggest 5 top picks and 5 secondary picks.
  3. Translate your list
    Take each of your picks and create a library of visual images that you can refer to. It doesn’t need to be fancy! Just snip a pick and save it into a folder labeled as your topic; such as Brass Trends for 2018. These images should be products that you offer in your business portfolio.

When you’re done, you’ll be sitting with a great “go to” for discussing with your clients. Good luck and if you find any other great trend prediction articles out there, please add in the comments below to share with this community!

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